I’ve gotten a few questions about my antique church pew I posted on Instagram a couple of weeks ago so I thought I’d pop in and share the story of its origin with you.
It’s a story about a girl named Aimee, who is a bit OCD and a pre-planner whose grand scheme of acquiring a 6 foot antique church pew nearly resulted in a disaster. It speaks to the nature of always, always, always carrying a tape measure with you. Always. And let me tell you why.
I’ve wanted an antique church pew for awhile. A high school friend has a set of two church pews, one on each side of her front door, prominently on her porch straight outta her quaint childhood Baptist church. Obviously, not having a quaint childhood church getting rid of their original pews, I knew my hopes of acquiring a church pew with a story was nearly impossible but I didn’t let that hold me back. I set out to find a church pew like anyone would…..searching antique shops and perusing Craigslist.
I found a listing for an antique, hand carved 6 foot church pew located at a farm in Port Allen, Louisiana. It was a bit pricier than I was hoping for but its curved arm rests were something I was searching for and coming up short finding. I measured off my foyer half wall to make sure it would fit and Brian and I made the short trek to Port Allen to check it out.
(Stella was still recovering from her surgery, hence the cone).
Now, in my head I sorta envisioned that this lovely church pew would be nestled inside a barn just waiting for its new home. However, the church pew was out in the middle of this man’s yard covered with leaves, bird poop and looking like it was on its last leg. Brian looked at me like I had 3 heads when I said I was calling my dad to come with his truck & trailer to pick it up- that I wanted it and it was coming home with us. It looked a bit large and I said to the man, “are you sure this is the 6 foot pew you have in the listing? It looks a little large”. He then held out both arms, near the church pew, and said “yep, this is the 6 footer”. I should’ve demanded we measure it, but hey, he did the arm stretch thing so I figured he was legit.
My dad arrived and we loaded up my newfound treasure.
We got it home and blasted the poop, leaves, and other nasty debris from within its crevasses with the power washer and used a hand held sander to smooth the rough edges. Here’s what she looked like before:
After we get her cleaned up, we moved her into the garage for her introduction to chalk paint. At this point, she seems way larger than 6 feet so we take out the tape measure. I nearly fainted when she was not 6 feet, but rather, she was 8 feet. 8 FEET! Now, my foyer is massive but I specifically wanted her for the half wall under my staircase. By the grace of God, she fits but instead of a bit of room on either side she takes up the entire wall.
I still need to figure out what to hang above her but here’s a look at just how long she is.
Lesson learned. TAKE A TAPE MEASURE!
She works perfectly for the foyer in this house and the dogs are loving taking naps in the sunshine on her, but I know that if I ever want to move her, she’s going to end up as church pew bench on the porch (like my friend’s) because I’ll be hard pressed to find another spot for an 8 FOOT LONG CHURCH PEW.
I’m already stressed about where she will go for Christmas as she is currently occupying the corner where my tree resides but I have a bit of time to figure that out.
Daily, it’s a toss up between who is hanging out on the church pew. While both Stella & Milo have given it a whirl, Murphy has yet to venture up there.
I think it’s his rescue dog still in him and he only hops on furniture where he’s been invited. He’s seriously the most polite of all my dogs, and I think he thinks the church pew is a bit obnoxious anyway.
Stella & Milo, however, run this joint and wait for permission from no one.
Because of the massive size, it took 2 containers of chalk paint. If I hadn’t been in such a rush to get her painted, I would’ve researched making my own paint. Rather than spend a fortune on Annie Sloan, I purchased the Americana Decor paint from Home Depot in the color, lace. I still need to wax her, but I’m happy that I painted her even though Brian rolled his eyes when I said I was painting her white….like the rest of my house. 🙂
Speaking of whites, I know I’ll get questions about my wall paint colors so they are:
Walls: Benjamin Moore Ballet White
Trim: Benjamin Moore White Dove
Also? People who find crazy great deals on Craigslist clearly do not live in my area. That, or there’s high, high demand for antique church pews here.
Seen any church pews where you live?